Transfigurations Author:Michael Bishop In 1973, Michael Bishop wrote a stunning novella - "Death and Designation Among the Asadi" - a haunting story of a driven man's attempt to understand an alien culture and an unparalleled evocation of the very concept of "alienness". The novella was a Nebula Award finalist. Now, Bishop has extended the story, the alienness, and the compulsion to... more » understand into a compelling, mesmerizing novel - Transfigurations.
Six years before the events of this book, Egan Chaney disappeared while studying the Asadi, the native race of the colonized planet BoskVeld. No trace of him was ever found, though searches were made. His assistant at the time, Thomas Benedict, put together his notes and published "Death and Designation Among the Asadi", a monograph detailing the strange ritual behavior of the hominid aliens. Now Chaney's daughter, Elegy Cather, has come to BoskVeld determined to uncover the truth of her father's disappearance. She has read the monograph and believes fiercely that she can succeed where others have failed. She brings with her a sad and wonderful creature, a baboon that has been genetically altered to look like an Asadi and have a high level of intelligence. He is to be her bait- her entree into the silent world of the aliens.
Benedict remains on BoskVeld after Chaney's disappearance and had learned to live with the unanswered questions. But now, despite himself, he finds he is drawn into Elegy's obsessive need to follow Chaney's path to a final resolution. Together, they are led into the Asadi rituals and finally, deep within the rain forests of the planet, they find the hidden ancient temple that Chaney wrote of in his notes...and in the temple if revealed to them the probable truth of the Asadi past, and the horrible fate of Egan Chaney.« less